The Weird and Wonderful World of Library Music

The Weird and Wonderful World of Library Music

Library music - a genre of background tracks designed to supplement tv, radio and films for a variety of contexts - has become a favourite of ours at Capsule Records. 

An integral part to the dissemination of library music is its easy-use and non-commercial nature. For production companies, it enabled them to bypass record labels, who would require negotiation and extortionate fees. Instead, production companies paid a flat fee for a package on a theme of their choice. From dramas, to comedy, to sound effects and sport, library music was and is everywhere. 

Library music has become so popular in recent years as it often focuses on feeling and atmosphere rather than creating a distinctive piece. For this reason, library music became a place to experiment and a playground for composers. As a result, library music featured sounds that would not make it on a pop record, with instruments used for a particular purpose and not because they were in fashion or popular. 

These sonic explorations create and exaggerate human emotion whilst utilising and creating new sounds. Library music is sample heaven, made for lovers of experimentation, the weird and the whacky. But don’t take it from us. Instead, take it from Dilla, Madlib and MF Doom, who have all cited and sampled library music. 

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